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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.
American, Delta, JetBlue and United are currently offering cheap flights to the Sunshine State from as low as $88 round-trip. The discounted fares are available for travel in September and October to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO) and Miami (MIA). Departures are available from cities inlcuding Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Baltimore (BWI), Charlotte (CLT), Newark (EWR), Washington DC (IAD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD) and Philadelphia (PHL). Although many of the discounted fares are for basic economy, Delta allows basic economy passengers to travel with a carry-on bag (in addition to a personal item) and AA announced that it will follow suit beginning September 5, so you might want to consider them over United. As a reminder, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects with airline elite status or a co-branded airline credit card.
There are no tricks to find these fares. Use Google Flights to search for your preferred departure and destination and then book through Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline. If you want to make sure that your ticket includes a carry-on bag, you can use Google Flights’ newest feature, which allows you to filter out no-carry-on fares.
Airlines: American, Delta, JetBlue, United
Routes: ATL/BOS/BWI/CLT/EWR/IAD/IAH/LAX/ORD/PHL to/from FLL/MCO/MIA
Cost: $88+ round-trip in economy
Dates: September – October 2018
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Atlanta (ATL) to Orlando (MCO) in September for $88 round-trip on JetBlue:
Houston (IAH) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in September for $100 round-trip in basic economy on United:
Chicago (ORD) to Orlando (MCO) in September for $103 round-trip in basic economy on United:
Newark (EWR) to Miami (MIA) in September for $104 round-trip in basic economy on United:
Baltimore (BWI) to Miami (MIA) in September for $137 round-trip in basic economy on American:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Orlando (MCO) in October for $186 round-trip in basic economy on Delta:
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
Featured image by Lance Asper on Unsplash
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees